dogdayafternoon tvln 07-09-08Bay Theatre:

One of the great New York movies of the 70s. It’s a hot summer day and little Al Pacino holds up a bank, with weirdo John Cazale. Al gets to run off at the mouth to good effect and his reason for the robbery is unexpected; the onlookers and media who gather throughout the day give it a grisly circus feel and tension is well maintained when the action inevitably leaves the confines of the bank. Based on a true story, and one of Sidney Lumet’s best movies.

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre:

A slightly neglected classic from the French New Wave, from AgnÚs Varda (Belgian), whose star has never risen as high as it should have done (she was married to Jacques Demy). In more or less real time we wait with Cleo for the results of a biopsy, of which she fears the worst. She whiles away the time and has a number of encounters; the contrast between the morbid shadow hanging over her, and the vibrancy around her throws into relief all sorts of questions about her identity and freedom of action. And that vibrancy is created by doing what the nouvelle vague did best – taking the camera out onto the streets of Paris.

A Howard Hawks silent, with rough-housing Victor McLaglan drinking and brawling and wenching with his pal Salami (Robert Armstrong), traveling the world as merchant seamen. As with so many Hawks films, it’s a male buddy love story, and Salami can’t understand when McLaglan’s Spike decides he finally wants to settle down with a woman for companionship. It rattles along nicely and is given a tremendous shot in the arm by the irresistible Louise Brooks as a Coney Island circus diver who runs rings round the boys.

The Egyptian:

It’s not Easter, but perhaps you’d like to treat yourself to some Christ nonetheless. Especially as it’s the Egyptian’s 85th anniversary and this is one of the commemorative movies, each with ticket prices as per their original release. So for three bucks you get this strange, rather angry gospel, from Nick Ray and screenwriter Philip Yordan, in which politics takes precedence over preaching. Rip Torn is an impassioned Judas, and Robert Ryan a quietly affective John the Baptist. Jeffrey Hunter, from The Searchers, plays Christ, not terribly well, but all this plus glorious Technicolor, the giant Technirama process and the impression that it was made by sympathetic atheists all make it rather interesting. Ray Bradbury wrote the narration (intoned by O. Welles) and will be present to introduce the screening.

4fliesongreyvelvettvln070908Giallo-tastic! The first two are early Dario Argento slasher pics. In Four Flies.. a rock drummer in Rome becomes an unwitting murderer, or perhaps he doesn’t, but he’s getting blackmailed and more murder ensures. In The Bird.. (Argento’s debut) a writer, in Rome, witnesses a murder, tries to find the killer, and yet more murder ensues. Argento is rightly regarded as the master of giallo – Italian suspense/murder/horror flicks – rightly so as most other efforts are somewhat poor (see: Red Rings of Fear). Even Argento’s films can be a bit off-putting, often with appalling dubbing of dialogue that’s ham-fisted to begin with and plots that gape with holes and dispense with consistency and logic. But one goes for the scares, those sequences Argento can do so well where we are on the edge of our seat waiting for some ghastly violence to take place; and when it does, it is invariably presented with inventiveness and brio.


Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne fall in love on a cruise. Both are spoken for, so they agree to meet again in six months to see if they should throw their lot in together. But will they both make it to the Empire State Building rendez-vous? Director Leo McCarey remade his own film in 1957 as An Affair To Remember, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr who, despite their charm and the film’s reverential appearance in Sleepless In Seattle – cannot conjure the same magic as Boyer and Dunne. A solid gold weepie.

vieillemaitressetvln070908The Landmark:

French costume drama with lots of sex. And a sharp-tongue for the iniquities suffered by women in early 19th-century France. The male lead is the prettiest thing in the film, terminating a ten-year affair with Spanish firebrand Asia Argent in favour of his forthcoming nuptials; while Argento herself is a strange beast, ugly but irresistible to some, croaky of voice and wild of passion. This is a no-nonsense period drama. It’s set in the 1830s but harks back explicitly to the pre-revolution seventeenth century of Dangerous Liaisons; everyone acts from self-interest. Director Catherine Breillat’s ongoing exploration of sex, the sexes, and the battles between them continues in a revitalised setting that nonetheless deals with emotions and human relationships that have never gone out of style.



  • Fri 11-Thu 17 at 12.00, 2.30, 5.00, 7.30, 10.00: Le Mepris (Contempt) (1963)

Sur! Cet! Ecran! The original trailer for this has been amusing Nuart audiences for a few weeks now, promising a tragic love story in a fabulous setting and a fabulous love story in a tragic setting. Neither is quite true – Godard probes the disintegrating marriage of Michel Piccol (screenwriter) and Brigitte Bardot, gathered with producer Jack Palance and director Fritz Lang to make a picture of the Odyssey on Capri. But more than any others of his early films, it is really about Godard’s love for the cinema. Even if the script meanders at times it never looks less than lovely, shot in Technicolor and Cinemascope, and in constant psychic battle with one another, the three main leads are a treat.

Good choice for a midnight showing. They used to ask, how can one adapt Fear and Loathing.. for the cinema? The answer – hire a lunatic like Terry Gilliam. Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro are gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and his 300lb Samoan attorney, taking lots of drugs in their search for the American Dream. Gilliam created the ultimate crazy good/bad up/down movie trip; when I first saw this, I came out of the theatre and found myself in a funfair. It blew my mind, man.


images: wikipedia, 2, 3, twitch, bergenfilmklubb, tusova